Summary: God wants all of us to jump into Him! He wants us full throttle, diving into Him despite the fear and trusting that he is there to catch us and that it will be amazing. And He wants to use us to make a difference and be an example.
Tonight I would like to start with a movie clip from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Indy and his father have been forced to help the Nazis find the Holy Grail, the cup which Jesus used at the Last Supper with His disciples. Towards the end of their adventure, Indy’s father is shot, leaving him no choice but to go and find the Cup of Christ that would bring healing and long life to anyone who drinks from it.
As Indy enters the cave, there are a series of challenges that he must figure out in order to even reach the room that holds the sacred cup. Failing any of the challenges would result in not only the death of his father, but also his own. After making it past the first two challenges, Indy is faced by the most difficult one yet as he stands before what is called “the path of God.”
***Play video clip***
I love this clip for a few reasons. First, I love the fact that the whole basis of the movie is this search for immortality and freedom from death. Death is a pretty scary thing for a lot of people especially in our day and age. Today, as we sit on the five year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, fear fills a lot of people as we wonder when the next attack will happen. We also have been hit by an increase of natural disasters as well as dealing with war and increased violence.
As I looked online earlier at a view different surveys that asked the question, “what are you most afraid of,” death or a death related fear ranked at the top of every one. I think it would be pretty safe to say that the majority of people that you would talk to would jump at a chance to dodge death and receive eternal life. Think about it, if you were offered an opportunity to not have to worry about death, wouldn’t you jump at the chance? I know I would!
Second, I absolutely love the fact that the freedom from death that these men so desperately want, can only be found in the power of Christ. It is not some scientific thing that these men are looking for. It is not some sacred religious ritual that they are trying to uncover. Nor is it a random fountain somewhere in a jungle. The search for eternal life rests in the power of Jesus.
The third thing that I love about this clip is that they portray this “path of God,” which leads to Christ, as something that is not easy or natural. Sometimes today people get this idea that following Jesus is easy. All you have to do is believe right? A lot of the times in connection with church and Jesus, we use the word “saved.” I just have to say this little prayer and then I am all set. I am heaven bound and Jesus is my little personally buddy that I can pull out my pocket whenever I need Him. Saved communicates that it is a one time deal and I am done, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Following Jesus and having a relationship with Him is something that is really hard at times; not all the time, but sometimes. A lot of the time, a relationship with Jesus is like coming out to a giant cliff with seemingly no where to go. There are things that may be really hard to believe, understand, or do. You begin to question yourself and your own abilities thinking that what is before you is impossible. Then you begin to question God asking Him why he put this in your path. You are then left with a decision: Do I either turn around and head back or just sit down and forget about this Jesus guy? Or do I take the chance and jump?
This year, if you haven’t figured it out yet, our theme is going to be ‘Jump!’ We are going to spend our time focusing on what it means to ‘Jump’ into a relationship with Christ. For the most part, we are going to be spending the most of our time looking at the lives of the disciples and going through the Gospels; the first four books of the New Testament.
For tonight, we are going to start right from the beginning and take a look at when the disciples actually became the disciples. Let’s open our Bibles to Matthew 4:18-22.
***Read Matthew 4:18-22***
Let’s take just a minute to really digest what we just read. We have these two guys named Simon, who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew. They are out on a boat in the middle of the Sea of Galilee fishing. That is what they did for a living. Day in and day out, they would spend the day fishing and then selling their catch to local shops to make a living. Without fishing, they wouldn’t be able to survive on their own.